2012 (6th) http://www.kellyhwilliamson.
2010 (2nd) http://www.kellyhwilliamson.How would you like to win an entry to the Rev3 race of your choice? You would like it very much, you say. Well here's your chance because we are giving away two entries. These races are not only perfect for you, but Revolution3 hand picks every venue to ensure you and your family and friends will have just as much fun as you do on race day.
My name is Lisa Blaszko and this June I'll be racing the Revolution3 Quassy Half in honor of a friend. Here's my story:
In January of 2012, I was supposed to run the ING Miami Marathon with a good friend of mine, Aaron Cohen, who we all knew and loved as ACE. I was so excited for this race. Aaron was much more involved in the triathlon scene where he lived in Miami, but had run many half marathons and had been an athlete all his life. This was going to be his first full marathon and it would have been my 5th. Sometimes life has other plans for you, though, and I wasn't able to make it to race day. I remember talking to Aaron and explaining why I wouldn't be able to run. I knew he understood how upset I was, but this is something I will always look back on with regret.
Aaron past away less than 3 weeks later, on February 16th, 2012, and it has forever changed my outlook on life.
He had been cycling with a friend in the early morning on the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami, FL when a driver, having left a local bar, was heading home and struck not just Aaron, but Aaron's friend as well, with his car. The driver then fled leaving them both at the scene with no regard for their lives. Tragically, Aaron's injuries were too severe and he passed away the following day. Since then the community has been a constant out pour of love and support for Aaron and his family. Unfortunately, the justice system did not come through and has left many people even more shocked and saddened.
When the driver was finally sentenced this past January he only received 364 days in jail (not prison) and 2 years house arrest because they didn't have a blood alcohol level at the time of the accident. Even though the driver had a suspended license, prior cocaine drug charges and was caught on camera stumbling while his father covered up the damaged car with a tarp, it wasn't enough. It basically sent the message to the public that you would be better off to flee. What is so disheartening is that Aaron isn't the firstcyclist to be killed like this in South Florida. It seems to be an epidemic and something needs to change.
Many of Aaron's friends, as well as concerned citizens, are working to spread the word to promote cycling and pedestrian safety. It is our hope that in the near future there will be an "Aaron's Law" stating if you hit someone with a motor vehicle and leave the scene of the accident the sentencing guidelines will be just as strict as if it were a DUI manslaughter case.
Whether you knew Aaron for years, just met him briefly, or had only heard of him after his terrible tragedy, he is someone you will always remember. To say Aaron was an amazing person is a total understatement. He was an athlete (who had made it to the Olympic Trials in speed skating), friend, son, father, husband... There will never be another person like him. He was truly one of the kindest, most caring, funniest, good natured persons I have ever had the privilege to know and call a friend. His character was such a rarity. He always saw the positive and never judged others. It didn't matter who you were, he treated everyone the same. He just had this very special way of bringing people and communities together and had even formed his own triathlon team. He was nothing short of wonderful.
He wrote this in a letter to another teammate and his words have continued to inspire many each and every day:
"I run because it does matter. I run because I find when we do, I surround myself with great and motivated people that understand and connect on a level that others may never understand." -Aaron Cohen
"...with all the history and all of the accomplishments, I have never felt an athletic accomplishment greater than I did finishing my first 70.3." -Aaron Cohen
I never thought I would sign up to be racing in a Half Ironman. Never mind the Revolution3 Quassy Half, where the course is known for it's difficulty! I'm a runner. I've qualified and completed both the Boston and New York Marathon courses and I have a 3:18 marathon PR. Swimming and cycling are staples in my training, and I do love endurance sports, but running just comes much more naturally. But, I don't think I could have said why I run any better than Aaron did and on the anniversary of his death I knew just how I wanted to honor him. I can't wait to feel that accomplishment he describes when I race my first 70.3 in June.
Thank you to the Revolution3 Team for helping me spread the word and continuing to keep Aaron's memory alive. "Never forgotten, always loved, forever missed." This one's for you, ACE.It’s a simple, three-word question. But, for me, it requires a pretty long explanation. First, I need to explain why I’m a triathlete in the first place. Growing up, I can remember watching the annual Kona broadcast. My father and I would sit in wonder of how these people could manage to pack 140.6 miles into a single day. I always had thought to myself, “That’d be awesome.” But by the end of December, that dream had been filed away again, to join whatever else I lost to the couch cushions. You see, I was not exactly what one would call athletic. In fact, the only shape that I resembled during my younger days was “round.” At 18 and headed to my freshman year of college, I tipped the scales at a not-so-svelte 258 pounds. Round, indeed. I strolled into my doctor’s office for my pre-college physical, and was given a cold slap of reality to the face. I was told that if I came back in a year with the same blood pressure numbers, I’d be going on medication. Permanently. As it turns out, I have a relatively strong fear of my mortality. It was the “oh crap” moment that turned a lightbulb in my head. Over the course of the next few years, I’d lost nearly 100 pounds. I met my lovely wife, Hannah, and her family. I started running road races while harboring the dream again of dabbling in triathlons. And then December 2009 happened. Peter, Hannah’s dad, and I connected well. Much like my own father, he had wisdom far beyond his academic credentials. Peter had built his own organic farm out of an acre in a tiny town in New Hampshire. He lived. And I learned a lot from him through the conversations we’d have, whether on a friendly visit or helping out at the farm stand at the yearly fair. Peter had what we thought was a bad cold throughout the holidays. Right after Christmas, he went to the ER to have a check on things. They admitted him. Then words like “procedure,” “films,” and “biopsy” entered the fray. Cancer. Sarcoma, to be exact. The month of February was a blur. Three years ago this month, Peter went to have the tumor (and the lung that it had attached itself to) removed. The cancer was the size of a rugby ball. But the surgeon was confident it was all gone. In March, we rejoiced. In April, we all came crashing to Earth: it was back. Peter fought. He fought hard. And God, they tried everything. But cancer won. We lost Peter in July. Cancer took him from us in a matter of months. In the ensuing anguish, a fire burned within me: could I be next? What would happen if I don’t get to do what I want to do? What would Peter say/think/do? My fear of mortality kickstarted me on my path. By August, I’d resolved that I was entering my first triathlon. No more kicking the can down the road. If Peter could be taken from us so quickly, then the future is no place to hide your dreams away. It was time to make it a reality. My choice: the Half-Rev at Quassy. Go big or go home, right? Well, go big I did: I couldn’t help but weep as I crossed the line that day. So many emotions flooded through me. I was elated; I was proud; I was hurting; I wished Peter could be there. The one feeling that kept coming back to me was that I felt like I could honor my family and friends in a way that words could not express. Their support, their hard work, their dedication. I could suffer for a few hours in an event. But I could feel a much deeper emotional connection. That’s why I race as a triathlete; because I can hopefully take those lessons I have learned from family and friends and turn it into some type of reality It’s led me down an incredible road so far; getting the opportunity to be a member of Team Rev3 Triathlon and getting to know Charlie Patten and the rest of the Revolution3 Family. By extension, this meant getting to learn about the Ulman Cancer Fund and Team Fight. This January, I made my decision: I’m doing an event as a member of Team Fight. So, back to the original question: Why Team Fight? Well, the short answer is simple: so that someday, nobody has to feel the anguish of losing a loved one to cancer. Of course, my answer goes a bit deeper: I don’t want a young adult to suffer through cancer. I don’t want a parent to have to bury their kid. For selfish reasons, I don’t want my wife to ever have to think about worrying of me battling cancer. But much like my own place in this sport being about getting to honor friends and family, Team Fight is honoring those who are impacted by this disease. We are racing for someone. We’re making sure that those who are battling now get their fair shot, and get to experience that emotional connection with someone out on the course. And we’re raising money for care, for research, for everything to make sure that in the future, we can get to a point where cancer does not need to be spoken about in survival rates and treatment efficacy. We can just say, “we can cure that.” My goal is to raise $1,000 for the Ulman Cancer Fund this year via Team Fight. I plan on racing for Team Fight at Rev3 Maine in the Half distance event. I’ll be working hard to make sure I can put forth the same kind of effort that those battling this disease do on a daily basis. My donation page appears here: http://www.teamfight.org/donate2013/?kwoAdvocateId=5I7UJ75. Interested in becoming a member of Team Fight? Learn more about their efforts here: www.teamfight.org Follow Ryan here!